Report: Texas Governor Abbott Jokes About Shooting Reporters

Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, talks to reporters after meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House, Friday, March 24, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) was celebrating the passage of a bill to lower the fees required to carry a handgun in the state when he reportedly joked about shooting reporters.

“I’m gonna carry this around in case I see any reporters,” Abbott joked, according to the Texas Tribune’s Patrick Svitek, as he showed his work on a target sheet riddled with bullet holes.

A spokesman for the governor, John Wittman, told TPM over the phone to email him about the story. He has yet to respond to written questions.

Abbott’s remark came barely a day after then-candidate for Congress Greg Gianforte allegedly body slammed Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs after Jacobs pressed him about Republicans’ health care bill. Gianforte was later charged with misdemeanor assault.

Some on the right have found the alleged assault comedic, even laudable.

In immediate aftermath of the alleged assault, Gianforte’s campaign released a statement at odds with Jacobs’ audio recording of the event, blaming Jacobs for creating “this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ.” After he won the election the following night, however, Gianforte issued a vague apology to Jacobs.